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Novel tandem, high efficiency Photovoltaic technologies targeting low cost production with earth abundant materials

Tandem-junction cell architectures present a path towards higher module efficiencies over single-junction designs, because of the ability to absorb more efficiently the different wavelength regions of the solar spectrum by means of separate devices (monolithically integrated and bonded/mechanically stacked). This enables surpassing the limiting efficiency of single-junction Si (~29%), which has neared its theoretical limit. As module costs drop, balance-of-systems costs dominate the cost of PV installations, and gains in efficiency could influence more the overall system costs, the energy yield/m2 and hence the land use or the integration potential of the technology. The aim is to develop tandem cells and modules that will reach efficiencies >30%, offer the same lifetime and degradation rate as standard crystalline panels at only marginally higher cost, creating thus a viable economic pathway for commercialisation of these technologies.

The proposal should address all of the following:

  • Develop novel concepts based on earth abundant materials that optimise PV cell and module architecture, increase durability, decrease losses and target very high efficiencies, taking also into consideration specific applications.
  • Employ simple, scalable and low cost processing techniques; deliver proof-of-concept for equipment development to support novel layer deposition.
  • Ensure compliance with the relevant standards at laboratory scale, also considering the specific applications targeted.
  • Perform device/module real –life (under actual outdoor operating conditions) characterisation for reliability and energy yield assessment.
  • Perform a life cycle analysis to bring evidence of the lower environmental impact, better resource efficiency than current commercial PV technologies, and circularity potential.